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Egocentric predicament

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Egocentric predicament, a term coined by Ralph Barton Perry in an article (Journal of Philosophy 1910), is the problem of not being able to view reality outside of our own perceptions. All worldly knowledge takes the form of mental representations that our mind examines in different ways. Direct contact with reality cannot be made outside of our own minds; therefore, we cannot be sure reality even exists. This means that we are each limited to our own perceptual world and views.

Since 1710, when George Berkeley broached in his fashion the problem of the egocentric predicament, denying the existence of material substance except as ideas in the minds of perceivers, and thus asserting a problematical relation with reality, hence has this thesis proved a stumbling block.

Both Perry's concept and the term he used influenced American philosopher, Everett W. Hall to create the solecism "the categorio-centric predicament" to express the impossibility of seeing the world outside the "categories" imposed by one's native language and conceptual scheme.


See also Edit

References Edit


  • Annotated Bibliography of the Writings of William James : philosohical work - author Ralph Barton Perry


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